Chicago: Where to Eat
By Parker Marie Molloy
Whether interested in burgers, brats, steaks, or vegetarian fare, the Second City has just about any meal combo you can dream up. While most Chicagoans have probably had enough deep dish pizza to last a lifetime, visitors to the city would be missing out if they passed on the opportunity to taste the city’s most famous dish.
1746 N. Wells St.
With locations in Old Town, Lincoln Park (Nookies Too), Lakeview (Nookies Tree), and Edgewater (Nookies Edgewater), Nookies is the perfect place to dine before a night on the town, as well as recover the next morning. While Nookies Edgewater boasts a full bar, patrons of the other locations are welcome to BYOB.
1001 W. Washington Blvd.
Located in the West Loop, Wishbone is ideal for those with a big appetite. Serving southern-style favorites like North Carolina style crab cakes, crawfish cakes, jambalaya cajun stew, and shrimp and grits, the location boasts one of Chicago’s heartier menus.
2333 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Located in Logan Square as well as in the heart of Boystown, Chicago Diner is a must for vegetarians. Using the slogan, “Meat free since ‘83,” the diner serves up must-have vegan shakes, quinoa chili, roasted vegetable polenta, and vegetable stir fry better than just about anywhere else in the midwest.
3415 N. Broadway
With locations in Lakeview, Edgewater, and on the outskirts of Boystown, Ann Sather is worth visiting if for no other reason than their world-famous cinnamon rolls. Open daily at 7am, Ann Sather is a great choice for anyone in search of standard breakfast fare.
3233 N. Broadway St.
The Lakeview diner boasts an extensive menu with everything ranging from eggs to seafood to pasta and pie. Melrose Restaurant is perfect for groups on a budget.
Joy's Noodles and Rice
3257 N. Broadway St.
Another BYOB Boystown mainstay, Joy’s Noodles and Rice offers a number of Thai classics. The spicy basil leaves, garlic chicken noodles, and pad thai are must-try dishes.
Penny's Noodle Shop
1542 N. Damen Ave.
Now inhabiting five locations throughout the Chicagoland area, Penny’s Noodles’ Wicker Park/Bucktown makes for a quick and affordable place to refuel, especially for those looking to enjoy a night out in the hipster-filled neighborhood.
Shaw's Crab House
21 E. Hubbard St.
Seafood lovers take note. Shaw’s Crab House is a must try on any journey through the city. Serving top-grade shellfish, oysters, and sushi, and sashimi, Shaw’s is an upscale fish house with an appropriately upscale price tag.
5910 N. Broadway St.
Moody’s can be described in two words: beer and burgers. Home to one of Chicago’s most peaceful patios, Moody’s Pub is the perfect place to catch up with friends, old and new.
Star of Siam
11 E. Illinois St. #1
Describing themselves as “the most fashionable Thai restaurant,” Star of Siam proves to be one of the city’s more aesthetically-pleasing dining locations in the city. Located in the Gold Coast, Star of Siam is a great place to meet post-work for those coming into town on business.
Heaven on Seven
600 N. Michigan Ave.
Between the gumbo and the jalapeno cheddar corn muffins, Heaven on Seven ranks as one of the best places in Chicago to find southern-style cooking. Additionally, the Loop-based location offers a wide array of gluten-free options.
5525 N. Broadway St.
Located in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood, Pasteur offers some of the city’s most authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Closed on Mondays, Pasteur is open Tuesday through Sunday starting at 11 a.m.
El Nuevo Mexicano
2914 N. Clark St.
El Nuevo Mexicano is worth checking out if for no other reason than their absolutely phenomenal margaritas. Offering a full bar, the restaurant’s upscale appearance and delicious, authentic Mexican options make this Lakeview a great option for those planning a date night.
Kopi Travelers Cafe
5317 N. Clark St.
This Andersonville hole-in-the-wall offers a number of delicious vegetarian and health food options, as well as some of the city’s best selection of caffeinated beverages. Weekends at Kopi bring out Chicago’s artists and writers, many of whom spend their time sketching between sips of coffee or typing away on their keyboards.
7000 N. Glenwood Ave.
The Rogers Park restaurant has a rich history of overt liberal political leanings. While running for U.S. Senate, then-state senator Barack Obama once held a rally at Heartland, and the walls have frequently been home to pictures and quotes from the likes of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and in 2012, when Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was fighting back against a recall effort, Heartland’s dining room more closely resembled the office of a Democratic political operative than a restaurant. In past years, the restaurant has fallen on hard times, though they continue to offer some of the best food found on Chicago’s far-north side.
Chicago is famous for deep-dish pizza, but most of the best known pizzerias have branched out as chains, sprawling throughout Chicago and the nearby suburbs. Here are some to consider:
162 E. Superior St.
223 W. Jackson Blvd.
805 S. State St.
3877 N. Elston Ave.